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President Obama tells Chris Matthews he's not the problem, government is

President Barack Obama talks with MSNBC's Chris Matthews at a taping of the "Hardball with Chris Matthews" show, Thursday, at American University in Washington.
President Barack Obama talks with MSNBC's Chris Matthews at a taping of the "Hardball with Chris Matthews" show, Thursday, at American University in Washington.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

In an interview taped at American University in Washington that aired on 'Hardball' with Chris Matthews last night, President Obama deflected blame for the disastrous ObamaCare rollout, and his growing list of failures, by blaming Congress.

During the interview Matthews told the president that problems with the rollout of Obamacare seem to indicate the president doesn't have a "strong top-down authority system," and then asked, "What is your system for management?"

President Obama replied by saying, "Well, first of all, I think it's important to distinguish between this particular project, this health care project, where it is obvious that we needed additional controls in place, and how we have managed incredibly complex problems for the last five years, everything from wars, to pandemics to, you know, natural disasters, to expanding student loans for young people."

"Part of what we need to do is reorganize the government, which was designed primarily in 1935-45. We could consolidate agencies," he added.

Obama claims he has taken a very hands on approach when it comes to ObamaCare, but based on his lack of face-to-face meetings with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the last three-and-a-half years, that doesn't seem to be the case.

A report on says according to conservative think tank, the Government Accountability Institute, there was not a single one-on-one meeting between Sebelius and Obama.from March 23, 2010 through Nov. 30, 2013. GAI says it got that information from the official White House calendar and the Politico presidential calendar. You can view the calendar, and the GAI report here.

"I have an open door policy where I want people to be bringing me bad news on time so that we can fix things, and the challenge, I think, that we have going forward is not so much my personal management style or particular issues around White House organization," Obama said to Matthews.

If the problem isn't the president's management style, what is? Well, according to President Obama, it's Congress.

"The challenge we have got is that that requires a law to pass. And, frankly, there are a lot of members of Congress who are chairmen of a particular committee, and they don't want necessarily consolidations where they would lose jurisdiction over certain aspects of certain policies. But this is going to be a major area of focus and has been over the last five years, but going forward over the next three years. How do we have a 21st century federal government?"

Obama told Matthews that Congress "is part of the reason why people are skeptical. There are just some things that people have an interaction with the federal government where we could be doing a much better job."

Apparently President Obama believes people don't see him as a part of Washington. In his own mind he seems to place himself above the fray of the beltway, and somehow separate from government. In reality, most people see him, as they do all presidents, as the face of government.